The manufactured housing industry offered larger, more comfortable and more luxurious models every year. A constant battle to come up with the latest concept or feature brewed between those companies and for good reason. Just like a vehicle, people could trade their homes in for the newer model with all the fancy gadgetry. The newest concept equaled profit and that is always the bottom line.
The 1950’s was a great decade for mobile homes and great engineering feats were made. In an effort to increase living space the architects tried the 2 story mobile homes. However, they eventually realized that a 2 story mobile house was not the safest or easiest produced. Therefore, they went out with their designs instead of up.
I can’t give you the exact dates or names of the first companies to come up with expandable living spaces. I can show you all the great ads and brochures though! Here’s a few I was able to find in all my mess:
I happen to have an entire brochure about the DUBL-WIDE by Roadliner. Front to back, this piece of literature has always been one of my favorites.
The DUBL-Wide by Roadliner was a top of the line luxury home in the early 1960’s. It was the epitome of style and class. It also happened to be a fully expandable home. A 9 ft. wide home could be expanded into an 18 ft. wide home.
This home used an electric crank system and could be moved while expanded. Think about that for a minute: an 18 foot wide home that could be moved without damage to the chassis. That’s amazing engineering!
The expandable homes were the first step in what is known today as double wides and triple wides. There was issues with the expandable systems, whether they were hand cranked or electric. Leaks were probably the biggest. The light weight material needed was not as energy efficient as it needed to be so the concept naturally progressed into 2 completely separate units becoming one. Instead of one becoming a larger unit in itself.
I find mobile home history to be fascinating. Who knows why, maybe because mobile homes were a direct extension of the automobile. The progression of design is amazing too. They started so small and simple and they just kept going, each year was a better model than the last.
2 ads were found at Atlas Mobile Home Directory.